I didn’t need that Gnosis anyway…

Caution: Longer post than usual. Contains epiphany. Not safe for children under 3. Ask your Doctor.

So Keznit writes a comment earlier today about my lack of updates.  The point is valid however – Mostly, I’ve been playing a lot of “Skill Queue Online” and/or Mining. The life of an Industrial Capitalist does not make for riveting reading (so I neglected to write, in turn). Other than building my first mining barge and a bunch of frigates to sell for ISK my EVE life was not that interesting…Until the last few days where I decide to get my Gnosis out again.

Wait, let me rewind here a couple of weeks.

I mentioned before about maybe wanting to fly a Hurricane. Much of this was driven by my getting a taste for Battlecruisers with the Gnosis and all of its “Low Skill Requirements” goodness. So I spend a good few days training Minmatar up to Cruiser III as well as a bunch of Projectile Turret skills.

I buy a Rifter so I can feel like one of the cool kids. I buy a Rupture because people say its awesome. I get totally excited about my Hurricane.

My forays into flying Minmatar ships are mostly…terrible, actually. Its not that I dislike them, its more than I just suck at flying them. My tank is small, I can’t fit Tech 2, my DPS figures are pathetic. I check to make sure I actually have Medium Sized guns fitted. Nothing seems to be working like the Forums proclaim within the multitude of “Check out my sweet Rupture fit!” threads. Why?!

Its my skills. Always my skills, or lack thereof.

Every time I think I’m getting better, the skill queue in EVE depresses the hell out of me. I know I mentioned this before, but looking at the certificate planner is the worst; the little red Xs that wink at me, graphically mocking my lack of ability. An X isn’t like the yellow circle. It doesn’t say “Oh hey, you’re on your way to qualifying for this certificate!”, it says “You suck so bad at this skill, you don’t even have it at all.“.

The way this relates to my failing with Minmatar ships is often with combat skills such as, say,  Trajectory Analysis. Need more range? Get Trajectory Analysis! Awesome, let me buy that. Wait… It requires Gunnery IV. Great, I only have Gunnery III. Then I am reminded that in general, I’m not that good at Gunnery overall anyway.

And it continues; it spiders out in an ever increasing web of skills that I don’t have and need to train…sometime…eventually. I look at the certificate planner and there are entire sections where I have absolutely nothing.

I leave EVE for a few days over the Holiday, only logging on daily to update my skill queue. At this point, I’m not having fun and I’ve been relegated to playing “Skill Queue Online” instead of EVE Online.

So what do I do? I come back to the Gnosis. The Gnosis is safe and warm. The Gnosis doesn’t have skill requirements to fly it. It gives me a nice 25% bonus to whatever weapon I put on it, regardless of my skills. It doesn’t have an EM hole in its shields. It has an enormous bonus to Scan Strength, making up for my sad excuse for probing ability.

Its a gigantic crutch, and it teaches you nothing except bad habits. It makes you think you’re ready to roll with the big boys, and you’re not even remotely close.

Oh wait, I spoiled my epiphany. Sorry about that, it was supposed to be how I end this post. Well, now that the cat is out of the bag let me explain what brings me to that point.

I decide I want to help my Corp by scanning down ore, ice and gas sites we can mine. The Gnosis is the logical choice for this kind of work because the big scan strength bonus is a huge help. So I tool around in Amarr space looking for good signatures. Around this time I also learn to love the fact that the Gnosis has a ton of Mid Slots too so I can put modules in there to further improve my scanning.

Sadly, I don’t find much in the way of ore, ice or gas. I do find a lot of Wormholes but I also get introduced to Relic Sites and Data Sites so I also start to bring Analyzers with me.

Small tangent: Screw Relic Sites. I actually quite like the Hacking Minigame but the loot piñata that comes afterwards is just…infuriating. And for what? I bust my butt scanning these things down and hacking the cans, only to get Hydrogen Batteries and Scrap Metal? The ISK/hour seems awful even compared to sitting there watching my Barge shoot Veldspar until my brain turns numb and I start to choke on my own spit.

I start to get bored. With me, this is always a bad thing; being bored means getting sloppy, impatient, and risky. So, I start hopping Wormholes looking for something that I can mine, steal or maybe even kill. I discuss with the Corp and it seems like maybe Ninja Gas Mining in a Wormhole might be a good idea, so I start hunting.

I recently discovered that the barrier to entry with regards to Cloaking Devices really wasn’t that bad. One skillbook and module later and now I feel like an ultimate badass, flying around invisible, scanning stuff down and looking for Gas Sites.

Eventually I find one that looks to have about 8 million ISK worth of loot, sitting in some Wormhole that looks to be owned by Russians judging by the names of all their ships and modules. Its like prime US East Coast time right now so I figure I’m pretty safe, not to mention my entry point is both time and mass stable.

The Corp and I joke about last time I explored a Wormhole and got my CEO killed after popping our entry point with a shuttle. Good times. Ha. They jokingly mock how much of a noob I was back then a month ago. I laugh and joke about how I’m going to hone my skills, bide my time, then Awox all of them.

Anyway, this Gas is guarded by a couple of Sleeper Cruisers so I bookmark everything and come back with a Tankier fit on my Gnosis. The ensuing battle is awesomely successful and the Sleepers barely dent my shields while I pick them apart with Heavy Missiles and T1 drones. Time to mine. At this point I’m back at home base with the Gnosis and I’m getting my Cloaky Venture (DPSLG: Dark Star) fitted up and ready.

Suddenly. my Wife asks me to go to bed. This is unexpected, and inconvenient. Because I’m a moron I start to complain, which immediately prompts the “Oh-I-see-so-you-care-more-about-EVE–than-me” look and/or conversation. I instantly draw huge amounts of Wife Aggro which quickly breaks my tank and smashes me down into structure.

Verbally assaulted, I quit EVE and go to bed without my gas.

Next day, my Wife and I are talking about the previous night and my initial reluctance to quit playing. She doesn’t play EVE, nor does she care about my Internet Spaceships so I try to explain my frustration with a Dungeons and Dragons analogy since I know she’ll understand that:

“Imagine my ships in EVE are like D&D characters. They’re pretty specialized. Imagine that the best Dungeons in EVE are hidden, and I need my Ranger to track them down and find them. Then when I get the dungeon on my map, I need to go home and get my Rogue so I can scout the dungeon, find the best loot and make sure I don’t get discovered by the people that live there. Then when I find the loot, its guarded so I need to bring my Warrior to kill the guards. Then finally, when I actually have access to my unguarded loot, I need a special Wizard to collect it. My Venture is my Wizard. You told me to come to bed as my Wizard was leaving the Tavern.”

She understands perfectly. Her response is to pat me on the head and say “You’ll get over it.”

I guess that gives me a little perspective.

Today I try my luck again with exploring Wormholes. After several complete failures I find a Wormhole in my home system that leads somewhere unexpected – Lowsec. Its been a while since I’ve been to Lowsec so I skip through merrily with my Gnosis, cloaking when I get to the other side after burning straight downwards from the exit.

I’m chatting with Kurt (my CEO) about where I am when suddenly, someone decloaks me by doing pretty much the same thing as me, only faster. This is not hard, considering how slow the Gnosis is. At first I freak out thinking I’m going to get killed but its cool, the other pilot and I exchange a few words, he leaves, and I go back to talking to my Corp, thinking about what I can do in this system since there is a ton of Ore and Ice here and its technically only 1 jump from our HQ. I can hang out here cloaked indefinitely until I make a decision.

Idly, I zoom in on myself to make sure I’m actually cloaked. My Gnosis is hanging in the void, plainly visible. Shit. I forgot to recloak. Now I really freak out and fumble around like an idiot looking for my cloak activation. I cloak. I glance at my Overview and see a Proteus hanging out by the Wormhole, 25km away. it vanishes. Oh, I think, he must have cloaked like me. Good thing I’m cloaked too, because I check the guy’s name in Local and he looks to be a pirate. I hope he didn’t see me…

I hang out for a while and see people come and go in Local. I realize this is actually a Factional Warfare system and the guy in the Proteus is probably hunting people conducting Factional Warfare. I turn the Gnosis around and start drifting back towards the Wormhole, figuring it might get too hot here so I’d better leave.

About 20 KM from the Wormhole I remember there are a bunch of unscanned signatures in the system. Now the greedy part of me starts thinking and wondering what riches they hold. So I think for a moment and decide, why not? Lets see if we can scan something down before I leave. I’ll just launch probes and cloak again after 25 seconds. Besides, I can kick in the MWD that way and get closer to the Wormhole. What could possibly happen in 25 seconds?

I drop cloak and launch probes, then click on my cloak a couple of times to watch the timer.

The Proteus immediately appears 10km off my bow. He’s been sitting there the entire time, just waiting for me to reappear.

Now, I’ve been killed a few times in PvP and it doesn’t usually bother me anymore. This time I get that same cold fear as when Rezell and the Basgerin Pirates ganked my Venture during my first days in EVE. I guess its the difference between being out in a gang expecting to get into a fight and get killed and being hunted by a predator who plainly outmatches you. I feel like Muldoon in Jurassic Park; the only thing missing is for me to look at my screen and mutter “Clever Girl” before I’m eaten alive.

For what seems like an eternity, I just stare at the yellow brackets. I have cultivated a remarkable ability to freeze during PvP situations. An urgent voice in my head yells at me to run and I actually move my fingers, aligning to the nearest celestial and starting a warp cycle. Too late; scrammed. I align back to the Wormhole as my shields are getting stripped off and try to cover the distance in my ridiculously slow Gnosis. Too late; webbed. As my armor shreds into red, I pick the nearest Gallente station and start mashing Warp to save my pod. My drones are docked. My missiles are still in their launchers. I am not good at PvP.

My Gnosis explodes.

I think about my millions of ISK in implants and mash warp faster. My pod escapes. I dock and take a long, deep breath. I’m not a poor sport, so I have a pleasant conversation with my killer; he seems like a nice enough guy. He tells me “GF” even though I didn’t fire a shot. I laugh at that. I thank him for the learning experience and take my insurance provided Velator back through the Wormhole back home.

Failure.

Fine. I didn’t need that Gnosis anyway. Or the Sisters Scan probe Launcher. Or the other stuff I had on there. I calculate. More than 120 million ISK lost. Shit.

What a waste. And it was my fault entirely. I got complacent, and impatient, and sloppy, and careless. I welped that Battlecruiser through my own stupidity and my killer fully deserves the 10+ million bounty he got from me.

I don’t have the skills, and not just the skills on the skill queue. I lack the player skills, and I can’t hone them by flying a 70 million ISK crutch. I’m just not ready to fly a Battlecruiser, or anything that expensive. My reach exceeded my grasp, and having a Gnosis was part of that issue.

No more. Back to basics.

I call it a night.